Microsoft has an important announcement today: Windows 10 does not automatically install these major feature updates every six months. Home users can also stop minor updates. In Windows, you can even pause updates after searching for them!
That's huge. It's the biggest change in Windows's Windows strategy since the release of Windows 1
Here's what's changing in Windows 10
In a blog post on the official Windows blog, Microsoft Mike Fortin explained what happened with Windows Update Changes:
- Starting with the May 2019 update (formerly known as the April 2019 update). You will receive a notification that the update is available if Microsoft thinks it is ready for your PC. However, you can choose when – and if – you want to install it. Windows 10 will not just start downloading and installing without your consent. You need to click on "Download and install now".
- When you click Check for Updates in Windows 10, you can choose to install the resulting updates or suspend updates for up to 35 days. This pause feature is new in Windows 10 Home and was previously only available in Windows 10 Professional. Previously, Windows installed updates right after the scan. And this also applies to smaller security, stability and driver updates. (You can only pause for seven days at a time, but you can pause up to five times in a row.)
- Windows 10 will still automatically install a feature update when your current version reaches "Out of Service." This happens about every 18 months – see information sheet about the Windows lifecycle. In other words, if you're using Windows 10's Fall Creators Update (1709), your PC is about to install a feature update. However, you would not have had to install the latest feature updates. (So yes, some forced feature updates are retained – but only once every 18 months after many tests.)
- Microsoft promises to invest more in testing feature updates. For example, Microsoft says it will "extend the time that the May 2019 update spends in the release preview phase." This should be easy because the kinky update from October 2018 prior to the release has no time in the release preview spent! Unfortunately, this upcoming update already has a blue screen error that can not be fully resolved.
Microsoft Surrenders and PC users win
Microsoft gives us – and PC users – a lot of what we've asked here! We said that Windows is not a service and Microsoft should offer PC users more choices. We demanded that Microsoft test the updates more thoroughly than the botched October 2018 update, which deleted some users' files and other errors. We warned people not to click "Check for updates" because Microsoft would treat you as a "searcher" and force updates on your PC before the tests were run. We said that home users should have more control over updates, including the ability to pause updates if so desired.
Of course, we were not the only ones who demanded that Microsoft slow down. It feels like everyone who covers Windows has done so at some point – for example, you see Paul Thurrot's recording. Windows 10 is finally changing.